Is free speech alive when two companies with strong left-wing political agendas not only gather more information about America’s citizens than the National Security Agency but control the distribution of the nation’s information and actively filter news, censor commentary and discount political speech they find distasteful?
Can anyone dispute that Google and Facebook do just that – with control of nearly 75 percent of the digital advertising marketplace as well as two-thirds of the world’s searches for information?
At least one federal judge apparently doesn’t think so, as U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh this week dismissed a lawsuit against Google-owned YouTube, by far the largest “TV network” in the world, that it was hampering the free-speech rights of Prager University by restricting its conservative content.
She ruled that Google and YouTube did not qualify as “state actors” subject to the First Amendment by creating a “public forum” for speech.
But that ruling misses the point entirely.
The U.S. government has long recognized its responsibility in preserving a free and open environment of debate ever since the dawn of radio and television, by ensuring that the means of distribution of such content did not fall into the hands of monopoly control. The Federal Communications Commission has prevented media consolidation in individual markets. But, with the advent of the internet, local media consolidation poses less of a threat than national and international media consolidation.
Google and YouTube are now global media monopolies. And they are not afraid to use that position for to promote their narrow ideological agenda – not at all.
I’ve been telling you about the way Google and Facebook are literally conducting a scorched-earth war on the independent media – sites like WND that are not beholden to the cultural fascism of “political correctness.”
Google, for instance, employs the hateful left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center to determine what’s real news and what’s not. This is a group that inspired one of its followers to attempt to murder the entire staff of the Family Research Council. The attack was foiled, and the perp got 25 years in prison. The SPLC has labeled soft-spoken Dr. Ben Carson an “extremist.” I’m an extremist and a “hater,” according to SPLC. The SPLC has called Fox News “a megaphone of far-right extremists.”
This is one of the gatekeepers of your Google search results.
Do you get the picture?
While members of Congress are rightfully interested in questioning the CEOs of Google and Facebook about their egregious disregard for the privacy rights of Americans, few, if any, have even noted the serious of the threat these cartels pose to free speech – given their critical position controlling the information Americans see and read.
Vice President Mike Pence is, according to one report, but he has not made any public statements about his concerns.
But this problem has already manifested into a full-blown crisis for the independent media, which has become the canary in the coal mine when it comes to real freedom of speech and freedom of the press in America. If independent media go down, there will be no one left to challenge this dangerous new status quo.
What can you do about it? Two things:
- It’s time to start telling your elected leaders about the need to restrain the power of Google and Facebook. When companies get as big as these two and control the flow of information while collecting massive amounts of data on every American, the public trust has been breached. They require oversight. Like the example of Microsoft in the early 1990s, there is need for competition, again. Do large companies have a right to create their own political culture? Absolutely, but not while they control an ever-growing monopoly over the means of distribution of virtually all information.
- You can support independent media – which are nearing the breaking point because of Google and Facebook’s insidious mega-corporate political and cultural tyranny. WND is the frontlines of this fight. It’s indeed an existential battle for us for the foreseeable future – unless there is some relief. In the meantime, with our traffic limited by Google and digital advertising in near total control of Google and Facebook, we need your direct support to survive.
WND was the very first independent online media enterprise more than 20 years ago. Please help us to fight this war for the minds, heart and soul of America today.